The United Kingdom has advised its citizens in Nigeria to stay away from 12 states in Nigeria, saying Boko Haram insurgents were likely to kidnap foreign nationals in the listed states.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, which announced this in a travel advisory for its nationals over the weekend, said there was a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria for ideological, financial or political gain.
The listed states include Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Borno, Yobe, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Katsina and Zamfara.
The advisory read: “The groups have previously shown intent and capability to conduct kidnaps in Nigeria. Foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers, are likely targets for kidnap.
‘’Humanitarian hubs and workers have been targeted during attacks in the North East, including Monguno, Borno State on June 13 2020.
“There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism and could be carried out for ideological, financial or political gain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark.
“The security environment in the North East has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap. Kidnaps in the North East have included humanitarian and private sector workers.
‘’There are also reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, ISWA, are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners.
‘’In North-East Nigeria, extremist groups operate in some northern and middle belt states, including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa states. If you’re working or travelling in these States then you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping.”
The UK government also advised its citizens to be careful as events to mark the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protests might lead to additional protests in Lagos and Abuja, adding also that the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, scheduled for October 21 might lead to protests and heightened security presence in Abuja and the South-East.
“Since 9 August, there has been an increase in protests and demonstrations in the South East region of Nigeria. Protests, including “Stay at Home” protests, are likely during October in the South East region.
‘’There have been reports of violence during Stay at Home protests previously. You should monitor local media, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings and follow any instructions from local police and security forces.
“There have been a number of attacks and targeted killings in the South-east and Southsouth regions of Nigeria, including in the states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Ebonyi.
‘’Some of these attacks have been on isolated roads and in remote locations, but there is a chance that they could occur in metropolitan areas. There is also a heightened risk of indiscriminate attacks on police and security infrastructure, which may inadvertently affect bystanders.
“A number of states have imposed curfews. Travellers to these regions are advised to exercise caution if travelling in remote areas at night and follow local news and information outlets for further information, including on local curfews,’’ the advisory read further.